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  • Questioning China... Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion takes over...
    * Gold fails to reach all-time high...
    * Debasing is good?
    * Treasury yields plummet!

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, it looks like the hurricane in the Gulf will veer left, and avoid the 'spill area'... So, those guys working in the Gulf finally catch a break! The bias to sell dollars didn't last too long yesterday, about as long as it takes for an Albert Pujols home run to leave the park! This back and forth stuff is really beginning to give me a rash, folks...

    Yesterday, the selling of the currencies and metals began with Gold... The shiny metal had climbed to just above $1,260, but could not go further, and apparently, traders threw in the towel because Gold couldn't go past its all-time high of $1,266... Gold began to sell off and in the blink of an eye, it went from being up $8, to being down $14! OUCH!...
  • Let's Talk Deficits...

    In This Issue..

    * A$, kiwi, and C$'s outperform...
    * Yen gets what is deserved!
    * Deficit to reach 100% of GDP?
    * Don't they work for us?

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It has been Thunderin' here most of the night, so it was quite fitting to call our Thursday, Thunderin'! It's been a week of pop-up Thunder Showers for us here in the Midwest... If summer plays out the way most summers play out, we'll be pining for rain come August!

    The Japanese have a new Prime Minister (Kan), and the currency markets don't like it! The once so-called 'safe haven' of yen, is getting sand kicked in its face, and rightly so, as the new PM has previously stated his goal of a weaker yen...

    ...
  • Bank of Canada Is First in G-7 To Hike Rates!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro's rally fizzles out...
    * Rates hikes are not over in Australia!
    * Japanese PM quits!
    * Brits offer advice to Greece.

    OK... Yesterday, I told you that the Bank of Canada (BOC) would meet today, and raise rates... Well, I got that 1/2 right! UGH! The BOC did raise rates, but they did it yesterday! Yes, the BOC became the first Central Bank in G-7 to raise rates, 1 1/2 years after the financial meltdown. The BOC tried to play down the move, by saying that they were not entering a rate hike cycle that would yield rate hikes meeting after meeting... But, with GDP, as reported here yesterday, running at 6.1% annualized, there are more rate hikes to come... It just won't be meeting after meeting... The BOC will sprinkle the fairy dust here, and a little there, some for themselves, and a little for us... A little more for them... HA!...
  • SNB Is Wrong!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro rallies...
    * Risk returned during Tuesday's U.S. session...
    * Gold rises above $1,200 again...
    * Italy announces Budget Cuts...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I go back to the eye surgeon today... If it all looks good, then I go to see the Ocularist, who will hand paint a shell to go over the prosthesis that replaced my eye. The shell will match my right eye, and I won't look so 'creepy' as my beautiful bride says, anymore... Funny? Yes, but creepy... No!

    OK... What a strange pattern we seem to be in the past few days of trading... It used to be the overnight markets would run the currencies up VS the dollar, and the U.S. session would knock them back down... That's reversed these days. Yes, the overnight markets have been pushing the currencies down, and the U.S. session has been picking them up......
  • Brazil To Benefit From New Carry Trade?

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar fights back...
    * Government deficit spending deep sixes us...
    * Brazilian rate hikes on the table...
    * Round Two of the PPT thoughts...

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Well... It's not really Thunderin' outside, but it is snowing, with about 3-4 inches on the ground already, and the snow coming down so thick that seeing is difficult. I made it here, but then I drive a car that was made to go in stuff like this! Pretty soon, my phone will begin to ring, with colleagues calling to ask me how the roads were...

    Well... We had more probing higher in the non-dollar currencies only to see the gains wipe away at the end of the day yesterday. Still, as I told a radio audience in Oregon yesterday, traders, investors, etc. still believe the euro is worth more than the dollar by quite a bit... Gold also gave back some gains overnight......
  • Risk Returns...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies maintain their gains...
    * Aussie and real jump higher!
    * U.S. manufacturing is stronger...
    * Following Japan...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Wow, it's cold here! I had to stop for gas this morning, and had some very bad thoughts about Al Gore, while standing there! That's funny! And, as one of my fave comedians says... 'that's funny, I don't care who you are!' HA

    Hey! I exchanged emails with the Mogambo Guru yesterday... He's such an interesting person! He's enjoying his time away from writing, playing golf, and spending his profits from Gold! If you need a Mogambo fix, you should check out this web site: www.bringbackmogambo.com

    OK... The first trading day of 2010, was interesting, as it certainly looked like risk was back on the table, and the Emerging Markets, and any currency that has some yield, were the beneficiaries of this return to risk taking. It certainly didn't take traders long to get back to dissin' the dollar in favor of these risk assets...I will warn you about this first day of the year move... Let's see if it carries through the rest of the week... If so, then the risk taking bus is about to leave the station, you might just want to be on that bus!

    ...
  • Bernanke Squashes Rate Hike Hopes...

    In This Issue..

    * Non-dollar currencies see some healing...
    * Gold rebounds during the day...
    * Japan to issue $81 Billion stimulus package...
    * Canadian loonie is best performer on the day...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Day one in the new office, seemed to work out pretty smoothly, with only our fax machine giving us fits... As I said yesterday, kudos to the organizers, planners, doers, tech gurus, and anyone else that had anything to do with this move...

    OK... Well, yesterday, I left you with the dollar on the rampage, and the non-dollar currencies and precious metals in the woodshed, having been beaten so badly, they didn't want to come out!

    But that was before Fed Chairman Big Ben Bernanke spoke... So, let me set this up for you... The dollar went on a rampage Friday after the BLS aided Jobs Jamboree surprised the markets with how strong it was, thus giving the market players the idea that the Fed would probably move up their date to get off the schnide and raise rates again... But then along came Ben, slow talking, slow walking Ben... And he set the record straight!...
  • Japan Posts a 4.8% GDP!

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion goes away mad...
    * China just says 'no' to currency flexibility...
    * Maybe a return to fundamentals?
    * Gold continues to soar!

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It's raining here, so it's one of those Rainy Days and Mondays... But I won't let it get me down, as opposed to the song! I got a chance to check out our new digs in the building next door to us here... Very nice! And... A long way from that small office I sat in on Olive St. a decade ago, when we started EverBank... To think back 10 years ago, and where we are today... Simply amazing!

    OK... As I told you Friday, the President was in China this past weekend, trying his best to get the Chinese to agree to a greater flexibility for the renminbi... Well... There were a few stories this past weekend that hinted about the Chinese agreeing to do such... But I prefer to go with this story that appeared on Reuters last night... 'The Chinese government has sought to distance itself from speculation surrounding a central bank statement earlier this week that was interpreted as a shift in currency policy towards a stronger yuan. However, a report on Saturday by Xinhua, the state-controlled Chinese news agency said that the government would not allow the currency to gain against the dollar in the short term.'

    ...
  • House prices move up, but consumers still aren't confident...

    In This Issue..

    * House prices move up...
    * US consumers are worried...
    * Japanese retail sales drag...
    * Australian rates to rise...

    Good day... We finally had a bit of volatility in the currency markets yesterday, as conflicting data released in two separate reports moved the markets in opposite directions. The dollar started off the day drifting lower, as has been the pattern over the past 2 weeks. But during the late morning the dollar started gaining strength, and has barely paused its ascent overnight.

    Many of you probably heard the news reports that home prices finally rose during the month of May, and this is what had the dollar on the ropes yesterday morning. The S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index reported that home prices in the US rose ever so slightly in May compared to April. But if we look at the annual figures, home prices are still down just over 17% across the country. Media outlets trumpeted this 'feel good' story with many economists declaring that housing has now turned a corner. This is a good sign, as prices have to stabilize before the housing sector can recover, but it is hard to get overly excited about a 17% drop YOY. The monthly figure rose just .5%, reflecting the first monthly gain since July 2006. Another report showed the share of homes sold as foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties fell to about 31% in June, down from a high of 50% seen earlier this year. With unemployment still creeping up, and the US consumer continuing to save instead of spend, I am going to need to see a couple of months of stabilized prices before I am convinced housing is turning the corner here in the US....
  • Blood in the streets.....

    In This Issue..

    * Red ink flows...
    * Japan suggests diversification for their reserves...
    * Commodity currencies rebound...
    * Data galore for the rest of the week...

    Good day... Chuck had a late night down at the ballpark watching the home run derby, so he asked me to take the helm of the Pfennig this morning. I'm going to try to get this one out a bit earlier than I did last Friday, so I'll get right to it.

    The biggest news to hit the markets yesterday was the Treasury Department's report that the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion. This monthly deficit pushed the deficit for the fiscal year to over $1 trillion dollars for the first time, and we still have another quarter to go until the fiscal year ends in September. It comes as no surprise to readers that the deficit is above $1 trillion, but what is a bit unnerving is the speed at which the red ink is flowing....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * Bad news for car makers rallies the US$...
    * Yen comes back strong...
    * Singapore to devalue?...
    * German Chancellor Merkel gives warning...

    Good day... And good Monday morning to all of you. I can't believe March is nearly over, it seems as though it just started. March will end up being a pretty good month for the currency markets, as investors exited the safety of US treasuries and started moving funds back into higher yielding assets. But the markets continue to be volatile, and news released on Friday and over the weekend has sent these investors rushing back to the safe haven of the US dollar.

    The Japanese Yen and US dollar benefited after a US Government official said Friday that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. The dollar continued to gain strength this morning after US Treasury Secretary Geithner warned yesterday that some financial institutions will need 'large amounts' of aid. When the Treasury Secretary says large amounts, you know it is going to be billions or trillions! Geithner was making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows to try and justify the money already spent and prepare the taxpayers for another request of funds....
  • Housing stats show more rot on the housing vine....

    * US$ continues to be propped up... * SEK moves up vs. the US$... * Japanese yen falls.... * Gold prices come down ... ** Housing stats show more rot on the housing vine.... It has been a while since Chuck turned over the reigns of the Pfennig to me, so I'm a bit out of practice. But there was a lot of movement in the currency markets over the last 24 hours, giving me plenty of Pfennig fodder. I'll get right to it. The 'Safe Haven' status of the US$ continued to prop it up yesterday as bad housing data in the US scared investors. Sales of previously owned homes fell 5.3% in January, after rising slightly last month. And even worse for US homeowners, the median price of a home fell to $170,300, down nearly 26% from its peak in July 2006. These numbers reflect a worsening housing market which will weigh on the US economy through most of 2009. The inventory of unsold homes did fall, but still stands at 3.6 million. At the current rate of sales, it would take 9.6 months to exhaust the excess supply of homes. And this is assuming no more homes come into the market. The housing downturn will continue well into 2010, and will likely keep the US economy in the doldrums....
  • Santa rally continues...

    * Santa rally continues... * Norway cuts 175 basis points... * Japanese intervention possible... * Indian rupee moves up... ** Santa rally continues... Good day... The dollar is falling much faster than it rose, the euro surged over 6 cents vs. US$ since yesterday at this time. The 5 day return chart for the major currencies vs. the US$ is pretty impressive: Swiss Franc +12.55%, Euro +9.5%, Danish Krone +9.44%, New Zealand $ +8.41%, Australian $ +5.08%, Swedish Krona +4.85%. And it continues. The past two weeks have been the most dramatic move by the dollar that I can remember. The dollar index, which tracks the US$ vs a group of major currencies is back trading right where it was at this time last year. I pulled a chart of year to date currency returns vs. the US$, and there are now 5 major currencies which have appreciated vs. the greenback: Yen +26.44%, Swiss + 8.07%, and Singapore, Danish Krone, & Euro + 1%. And with the recent big moves, our phones have been lighting up with investors moving back into currencies. I love the fact that all of these investors are diversifying, but the speed of this recent move demonstrates why we suggest keeping your investments spread across all asset classes. Trying to time into or out of a market can be frustrating, while keeping consistent asset allocations is the key....
  • Fed brings rates down to near zero...

    * The Fed fires its last bullet... * Euro breaks back above $1.40... * AUD and NZD rally... * Happy Birthday Jen... ** Fed brings rates down to near zero... Good day... The 'noise' from the street which I wrote about yesterday turned out to be correct, as the FOMC cut 75 basis points to put the Fed Funds target at .25%. The US now has the lowest interest rates in the industrialized world, even below those in Japan. The dollar lost ground quickly after the announcement and continued to fall overnight to a 13 year low vs the yen and the weakest vs. the Euro in 4 months. With both Chuck and Frank out of the office, I fielded the calls from reporters after the FOMC cut, and the most popular question asked was what the near zero interest rates would mean for the man on the street. Well it was great news for those on Wall Street, but I told the reporters that the rate cut really wouldn't have much of an impact on US consumers. After all, interest rates at 1% weren't stimulating the banks to start lending so why would .25% rates cause any change?...
  • Iceland Melts Down...

    * RBA cuts rates 100 BPS! * Iceland to peg the krona... * High Yielders get whacked! * Gold rallies in the face of a strong dollar! ** Iceland Melts Down... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... Folks... The wheels, what was left of them, are really coming off this economy. It's a sad sight to see, but it's happening nonetheless, and there's no bailout, stimulus check, mortgage bill, truck loads of money supply, or whatever, that's going to stop this recession bus.. Memo to Paulson and Bernanke... Don't throw yourself under this recession bus... Well... The dollar continued to push the envelope against a handful of currencies yesterday. Up front and center, the high yielders got beaten about the head and shoulders by the dollar. Aussie, kiwi, real, rand, all took major hits from the dollar. It was one of the worst days I can remember seeing for these currencies. This huge sell off showed two things going against the high yielders... 1. Commodities (other than Gold) are getting whacked, and 2. The Carry Trade is Dead......